The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe on Thursday joined a growing list of plaintiffs that have filed federal lawsuits against a variety of businesses in the pharmaceutical industry seeking damages for what they allege has been deceptive trade practices that led to the opioid crisis.
The lawsuit names 20 defendants, including manufacturers and distributors, alleging that they “flooded the market with false statements designed to persuade both doctors and patients that prescription opioids posed a low risk of addiction. Those claims were false.”
The 164-page suit alleges the companies made billions of dollars from the drugs.
The band seeks an injunction barring the defendants from further deceptive trade practices in the marketing of the painkillers, unspecified economic damages to compensate the band for the harm that was done, statutory and civil penalties, interest and attorneys’ fees.
The lawsuit, filed in Minneapolis by the law firm Lockridge Grindal Nauen, likely will be swept into a multidistrict litigation case pending in Ohio in the near future. Dozens of cities, counties and unions in Minnesota and elsewhere have filed similar lawsuits.
The defendants in the suit include Teva Pharmaceutical Industries LTD and Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc.; Cephalon Inc.; Johnson & Johnson; Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Janssen Pharmaceutica Inc. (now known as Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc.); Noramco Inc.; Endo Health Solutions Inc. and Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Allergan PLC (formerly known as Actavis PLS); Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. (now known as Actavis Inc.), Watson Laboratories Inc., Actavis LLC and Actavis Pharma Inc. (formerly known as Watson Pharma Inc.); Mallinckrodt PLC and Mallinckrodt LLC; McKesson Corp.; Cardinal Health Inc., and AmerisourceBergen Drug Corp.